With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program, Professor Dwight Matthews from University of Vermont & State Agricultural College and colleagues Giuseppe Petrucci and Matthias Brewer will acquire a 500 MHz NMR spectrometer with solids and solution capabilities. The award will enhance research training and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) synthesis of nanoporous materials for catalytic and biomedical applications, (b) polymers with phosphorus-based molecular architectures, (c) effect of cis/trans Isomerization of vicinal disulfide bond on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, (d) preparation of N-heterocyclic systems synthesized following a 2-aza-Cope-dipolar cycloaddition approach, and (e) preparation of nitrogen or oxygen containing heterocycles.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools available to chemists for the elucidation of the structure of molecules. It is used to identify unknown substances, to characterize specific arrangements of atoms within molecules, and to study the dynamics of interactions between molecules in solution. Access to state-of-the-art NMR spectrometers is essential to chemists who are carrying out frontier research. The results from these NMR studies will have an impact in synthetic organic/inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry and biochemistry. This instrument will be an integral part of teaching as well as research at the University of Vermont and neighboring colleges such as SUNY Plattsburg, St Michael's College, Middlebury College and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Science.

Project Report

A Bruker Avance III 500 MHz NMR with solid-state, multinuclear and variable temperature capabilities was purchased and installed to enhance the research capacity and training at the University of Vermont (UVM). Our only other NMR is an almost 20 year-old Varian that lacks many of the capabilities of the new Bruker. The Avance III NMR provides two key functions: (1) Support of researchers in Chemistry and other departments who depend upon NMR as a key research tool for gathering data, and (2) for training for our graduate and undergraduate students in the use of this state-of-the-art instrumentation. Students are trained not only to run straightforward 1H and 13C experiments, but are also trained in advanced NMR techniques, such as COSY, NOESY and HMQC. The Avance NMR is also used as part of our undergraduate curriculum for Chemistry Majors and plays a major role in our Advanced Chemical Laboratory (CHEM 201/202) and Advanced Organic Laboratory (CHEM 146) courses. With respect to research, to date a number of publications have appeared in peer-reviewed respected journals that cite use of the Bruker Avance NMR in those research works, documenting the importance of this instrument to research. With respect to training, a number of our undergraduates who have been trained and have used the Bruker Avance, have gone on to graduate school at a range of institutions. All report the importance of exposure to modern instrumentation as undergraduates with making the transition to graduate school much easier. The Bruker Avance 500 MHz is the only NMR in the state of Vermont of this field strength or with capabilites for solid state measurements. UVM is the only research university in the state. Thus, the Bruker 500 MHz NMR is not only an important instrument for the research infrastructure at UVM, but is also important to researchers at other smaller institutions in the state.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Chemistry (CHE)
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Carlos A. Murillo
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University of Vermont & State Agricultural College
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